tv Happening Now FOX News December 26, 2012 8:00am-10:00am PST
that's a tornado. oh, wow. jiem jake this was incredible last night. a massive funnel cloud bearing down over the skyline in mobile, alabama. it's just one of several twisters reported in that city, and residents are telling us they felt surrounded. >> and when it come down, we looked and everything seemed green like it was popped off transformers left and right. we heard a noise, and then all of a sudden i took off and off and started walking down here. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could and, i was just praying for my safety. i knew that the truck was knew the truck was shaking. i just prayed that the truck stay put and that god would protect me. jamie: a lot of praying going on in that part of the country. they're used to this kind of weather, but just not now. mother nature is also taking a toll on the midwest. take a look at this, snow and ice-covered roads have forced residents to stay indoors.
they're patiently waiting for the storm to pass, at least we hope so. news extreme weather center. i'm surprised, maria when we look at video how many people are on the roads. that's crazy. >> stay home today. stay home with your families if you don't have to go to work. those conditions are dangerous not just across the midwest but as we head later tonight and during evening rush and overnight hours, travel across the northeast will look a lot like that, especially interior sections, pennsylvania, upstate new york and even portions of new england. later on tonight we'll quickly see the conditions deteriorating across the northeast. this storm system is very widespread. it is a large storm and areas across the south that aren't really dealing with any precipitation across places in alabama we're still dealing with strong winds from this storm. gusts easily over 40 miles per hour. we have wind advisories across the florida panhandle, alabama, georgia, portions of the carolinas and
kentucky and state of tennessee. we're seeing a lot of widespread winds even though the storm system is not producing precipitation in your area. another big concern for the storm we're looking at a risk for more severe weather. we saw 30 reports of tornados yesterday. very unusual to see that during christmas day or even this late in the year. now we have another tornado watch. we're still seeing risk of tornados across eastern portions of state of north carolina and across portions of the state of south carolina. this tornado watch is in effect until 5:00 p.m. eastern time. stay alert. if you have any tornado watches or warnings for your city, seek shelter immediately because that risk is very real especially in this area shaded in red and outer banks of north carolina and isolated tornados, damaging wind gusts and large hail from some of the thunderstorms. blizzard warnsing are in effect. not just heavy snowfall, up to six inches across parts of the midwest.
you factor in wind gusts over 40 miles per hour. in parts of indiana, illinois, and ohio. we have winter storm warnings in portions of pennsylvania, upstate new york and portions of new england. jamie, for parts of new york city looks like we'll get a coating throughout the evening rush. the heavy snowfall will stay further to the west. jamie: maria molina will be pretty busy today. thank you, maria. of course these tornados i was mentioning are pretty rare occurrence in winter. but they do happen and can often be deadly. in fact over last three years 21 people have been killed by tornados this time of year. average of 34 tornados spring up in the month of december. the last time a tornado struck the gulf coast was during the holidays back in 2009. the deadliest winter outbreak of tornados happened christmas week in 1982. i guess it is not all that rare. kelly? kelly: jamie, thanks. right now president obama is cutting his vacation short to head back to washington
and jump-start the fiscal cliff negotiations with congress. talks fell apart before christmas. the deadline now is just days away and there is no deal in sight to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect january 1st. our juan williams is a fox news political analyst and he joins us today and very quickly, juan, merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas, kelly. kelly: this is daunting task facing congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that will set into motion more than $600 billion in drastic and draconian allic tax hikes and spending cuts. that will cause a lot of pain for all americans and does congress have enough time to act on this? >> they do. you know it will be very close and it may in fact go beyond the deadline per se although people are thinking at the moment it is possible to get something done by the end of this week. the key here, kelly, is the senate. we have been so focused on the house, speaker boehner, plan. about, plan b falling apart.
now speaker boehner is pointing towards the senate and the white house is pointing towards the senate as a place where we might get bipartisan cooperation. they think they have 10 republican votes for some kind of a plan that the president would propose that democrats in republicans in the senate could get together on and then ask speaker boehner to have a vote on it in the house. that could be a problem for speaker boehner because he could get a bill passed with that splits his republican caucus and puts in danger his re-election as speaker on january 3rd. kelly: that is a lot of talk going around in circles in washington right now. you're very optimistic something can be done but on the other hand there are several economist, juan, that predict indeed we'll go over the fiscal cliff and the inaction of congress has the potential of plunging the united states into another recession. that said, they can't afford
to becoming a reality. >> so far they have been very fortunate that the markets have not reacted with panic. you have not seen any plunge on wall street and the like but once you go over the cliff, especially if it is not just a matter of a day or two to allow for a house vote, but if it is really the case that politicians here in washington are so dysfunctional, kelly, they can not get the people's business done, i think then you will see a market reaction that, as you describe it, could plunge the country back into recession and it is not just the united states. remember, we're the world leader in terms of so much when it comes to the economy. it could cause worldwide implications. europe already is on the verge of trouble. to have the united states go off the edge would be catastrophic, for the world, for the global economy. kelly: juan, i was talking to a very good friend of mind who lives here in the united states. he is of course living here, came from paris, france. his friends overseas are saying what is going on with the united states? these guys are actually saying, why can't the united
states get this together because so many people throughout the world depend on us. look, our white house chief correspondent ed henry reports the president is rushing back to washington late tonight to get this deal done but is there enough christmas spirit and cheer on capitol hill that there can be goodwill expressed towards republicans and democrats to work in harm any to harmony to find something amenable to everybody? >> i think public opinion out there, public opinion clearly is not favorable to republicans at this moment about the fiscal cliff and the markets out there again could be very, very harsh if there is no deal. so i don't know about christmas cheer but i think there are certain political realities that say there's got to be something done, even if it's a temporary patch that allows them to say we're going to have the big vote in terms of the cuts and tax hikes and reform, you know, in a few weeks. but they have got to do something in the short term or they're going to be dire
consequences. i don't think that is any hyperbole, kelly, it is just the truth. kelly: just the truth. bottom line so i let you go, what is your next guess, deal or no deal? >> i think they get some kind of deal. it may pass the january 1st, december 31st deadline to get the house vote but i think you will see something done. kelly: maybe a pared down version but something will get done. kelly, have a happy holiday. >> you too, juan. jamie: the taliban is claiming responsibility for a homicide car bombing in khost. it is at the very same base where seven cia employees were killed three years ago by a jordanian homicide bomber. our leland vittert is following the story from our middle east bureau in jerusalem. leland, how significant was this attack? >> reporter: jamie, with what is most significant not amount of attack but sheer number of attacks, members
by afghan security services against nato or u.s. troops assets in the region. so far this year 60 of those attacks, that is almost three times the number we saw in 2011. right now 65,000 american soldiers inside afghanistan plus thousands more of military contractors and civilian contractors that is what joseph griffin was. he was there working inside afghanistan trying to help the afghan police rebuild and that is when he was killed by a woman in her 30s. she was a member of the afghan police, an iranian national. somehow she up haved through the vetting process of the afghan police and the fact that there are so many holes in the vetting process that they would miss, this woman, for example, who had forged documents is making a lot of people very concerned about what happens going forward, especially over the next couple of years as the u.s. draws down towards 2014 when they turn afghanistan back over to the afghans. that is when you're relying on the afghan security services to go ahead and try to take the lead in fighting
the taliban, also in fighting al qaeda and keep afghanistan from slipping back to what it was in the 1990s. it is very hard to have that fight go forward and to be successful in that fight when you have so many sympathizers among the ranks of the afghan police. jamie. jamie: i want to ask you because over the weekend we saw some renewed signs, we'll talk to ambassador bolton about it shortly, in syria that the regime may be cracking with this general defects. what is the latest there? >> reporter: the key for syria is russia and iran and there are indications now that russia may be open to some kind of deal and it is not for any altruistic region but they're trying to preserve what little influence they have inside syria. that is a key russian ally and they would be like to be on the forefront of brokering a deal rather than syria totally fall in the hands of jihadists and somebody risch shuns have no influence on. one of the reasons they may
start to talk about the deal is high level defection. this was the general in charge of the military police. when he defected over to turkey it is very nasty thing to say about the regime and president assad because he is now joining the rebels. this is may be why the russians are starting to think about talking to people. there are report that is the syrian deputy foreign minister now in moscow for talks possibly trying to negotiate some kind of settlement, some kind of transition. how that would look where it would be anrd early transition rather than this civil war pushing out what is left with the regime whether that would be okay with the syrian rebels is left to be seen. the number one thing to watch is russia but the wildcard here is iran. they have been key to their support of president assad, sending him weapons, even men and members of the revolutionary guard to help fight and lead syrian soldiers in this civil war. if russia goes by the side and tries to negotiate a settlement you look to iran and does iran continue to push president assad, continue to support him, or,
does iran back down? that is what we'll actually see some change there on the ground in syria, jamie. jamie: i think you hit it on the head because clearly iran is meddling in the background. we've seen we can't have much control with them but we'll still talk to ambassador bolton about it next. thank you, leland, very much, from jerusalem. we'll have much more as i mentioned on those developments plus what it means to our own foreign policy. we asked the question yesterday if syria is blowing up and there's defections i will ask ambassador john bolt upon coming up why is it our responsibility? kelly, the u.s. always has to get involved but with tens of thousands people there being killed already maybe it is time. kelly: the ambassador will shed some light on that. i'm looking forward to the conversation as well. definitely something we'll be discussing. meantime, jamie, there are new weather warnings and out there and details on weather delays. we're tracking a massiveo# storm moving across theo# country this busy day aftero# christmas. jamie: a deadly tanker trucko# explosion shuts down a majoro#
highway in one of america'so# busiest cities.o# if it is not hard enough to get around how about trying to maneuver around this? we'll tell you what happened. kelly: new details on the deadly ambush that killed two firefighters in webster new york. >> we're being shot at. i am shot. assault rifles. we have multiple firemen down. working fire. [ cellphone chirping ] [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ]
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in the name of human individuality: the sleep number collection. and the sleep number year-end event. exclusively at one of our 400 sleep number stores nationwide, where queen mattresses start at just $699. sleep number. comfort individualized. kelly: new details right now on a disturbing discovery at the home of the gunman who ambushed a group of firefighters in upstate new york on christmas eve. early reports now suggest that the human remains found in the 62-year-old's burned out home are almost certainly those of his older sister. police say two lived in the home together. listen to this. >> we did locate apparent human remains in the ruins
of the house at 191 lake road. the medical examiner has removed those remains. again, at 191 lake road is where the shooter resided with his sister. medical examiner will be working on identification and you know, i'm assuming that is going to take quite a period of time. kelly: mean while funerals of the two volunteer firefighters killed in that ambush have been set for next sunday and monday. jamie: i want to mention one thing, kelly, we covered this actually yesterday. but folks, to tell how you disturbed this guy was, he left a note, before the shootings he left a note because he end up killing himself because he would be able to do what he loved to do most. kelly: kill people. jamie: kill people. we learned he killed his grandmother. he spent time in prison. that is why he is convicted felon, for killing her to death with a hammer. a very, very disturbing story. our hearts go out to the families of firefighters having the funerals. kelly: very good point.
jamie: such a time of year to bury the ones you loved. we have a controversial response to string of deadly shootings we've been covering like that one and newtown, connecticut, and aurora, colorado. a new york newspaper is facing a fierce backlash. look at this. this interactive map on the website. if you click on dots it gives you names and addresses of registered pistol permit holders. those who have guns legally, we should point out. david lee miller has the story from our new york city newsroom. hi, david lee. >> reporter: hi, jamie. all readers have to do is click on a colored dot on the interactive map published by "the journal news" and people can see names and addresses of people who have permit for the gun. the gun owner next store, what you don't know about weapons in your neighborhood. in a follow-up article the paper says, thousands of people reacted in rage. callers complained their privacy was being violated and personal safety was put
at risk. the newspaper says it legally obtained the information after making freedom of information request in rock lan and westchester, two counties just outside of new york city. the paper is waiting for nearby putnam county. although the map reveals names and addresses of people who have permits, it does not disclose whether or not they actually have a gun. the paper said specific information about the number and type of weapons listed under each permit although requests was not released by authority. the newspaper in a statement to foxnews.com explained its reason for publishing the information and i quote. the massacre in newtown remains top of mind for many of our readers. in the past week conversation on our opinion pages and on our website has been keenly focused on gun control. this by the way is not the first time the newspaper has published information about gun permits. it did so in 2006 but said reaction this time was much greater due to the popularity of social media. the article published this week provided a footnote about its author. the paper said, he owns a
smith and wesson .357 magnum. jamie? jamie: david lee, thanks so much for clarifying all of that. coming up later we'll have a legal debate on the newspaper's actions. they got the information legally and only published those who legally have permits. what about those illegally have guns? is that information more important? can we have access to that? kelly: a very slippery slope indeed. meantime the civil war in syria is raging almost two years. now there is word a top general just defected to the opposition. what this means for president assads regime and efforts to end the bloody conflict. ambassador john bolton live just moments from now with his take. jamie: plus a very special christmas for a little boy who spent the day hanging out with his dad at work. what made their time together so special and turned it into the christmas gift this little boy always wanted. that's next. ♪ .
underway after a deadly tanker crash shuts down both sides of a busy texas freeway. this was the scene in houston this morning where authorities say a tanker truck overturned and burst into flames just east of the city's main airport. the driver of the 18-wheeler was killed in the wreck. the flames, shutting down both sides of the freeway. the southbound lanes have since reopened. hazmat teams trying to figure out what kind of cargo the truck was actually carrying. there is no word yetcaused this. jamie: well, right now there is word of a high level defection in syria's civil war as the general of the country's military police reportedly switches sides and joins the opposition. ambassador john bolton joining us now, former u.n. ambassador to the united nations fox news contributor. am bass do, great to see you. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. merry christmas belatedly. jamie: merry christmas to you. how significant is this
defection away from assad. >> i think it has couple important aspects. this is another high level general. there is political implication there. we'll have to wait and see whether it induces other regime military authorities to defect as well. second, for the opposition undoubtedly this will give them important information about what's going on inside assad's military, perhaps inside the regime itself. what's the disposition of forces? are they well-armed? what is their morale? where might they be vulnerable? whether this general is welcomed by the opposition and contributes to them militarily or whether just a general who decided to get out of dodge and buying himself some security we don't know but i think it is another significant step. jamie: i would think he needs security based on what is predicted, assad's capability against the people of syria. at this point how critical is the military support of assad to him retaining power, and could this be the
beginnings of a possible coup? >> well, i think it's too soon to tell. i have to say a lot of people, myself included, have looked at earlier defections and thought this might be the tippingpoint when the regime finally does fracture and yet time and time again there have been high level defections, time has gone on and the regime has continued to fight. it has remarkable staying power and one reason why civilian casualties are so high. but i do think that as the defections mount it just becomes physically impossible or at least much harder for assad to hang on and increases the possibility, either of the country disintegrating, or of the fighting simply dragging out. jamie: you know, all indications, tell me if you agree, that assad could care less. he is going to fight to the finish and at this point we've sent in a special envoy to have meetings with him to try to get a grip on the chemical weapons he may
have or what his plans are and he walks out with nothing it sounds like. what's next diplomaticly? >> i'm not sure diplomaticly there is much that can go on as long as assad sees no alternative outside of syria. you know he probably faces death if he continues to fight inside syria but without any commitment to give him immunity from prosecution, if he were to leave every incentive is to stay and roll the dice and see if he might yet survive. he is also i think worried about his fellow alawites an offshoot of shia islam. supporters like the drews and christians who might face a bloodbath if the opposition prevails. as long as his incentive structure remains to fight to the end i think that is what he is going to do. jamie: seems like fewer and fewer nations would be willing to take him in at this point. so you see a timetable of how much longer he can
continue this way? >> well as i say i've been willing to predict earlier that his collapse was much closer than it's proven to be. i think iran certainly could provide him asylum but they have an enormous interest in keeping a friendly regime in syria which is why they're so willing to shed so much syrian blood to keep assad in power. the russians have shown no inclination to try and ease him out or find a place for him to go despite a lot of western efforts to do that. so the grim pattern is that as long as assad has no reason other than, nothing, no incentive other than to keep fighting, i'm afraid that is what is going to happen. jamie: last yes. if iran takes him in let's say, we're speculating, we already have several sets of sanctions with iran. joining forces with syria, and they have been meddling in the background, hasn't been a great thing for us either. sanctions against syria, do we have the possibility of anything we can withold from
them to get his attention? >> well we've got, we've got some sanctions in place, unilateral ones. they failed three times in the security council because of russian vetoes. i don't see at this point given the aid iran and russia continue to give assad that more sanctions directed against syria are really going to change the disposition of the battle inside the country at the moment. jamie: this story develops by the hour. anything can happen. we'll keep our viewers posted. thank you, ambassador bolton. good to see you. looking forward happy new year. >> happy new year, jamie. jamie: kelly? kelly: the next few days are indeed critical in the fight for the so-called fiscal cliff but as the president cuts short his vacation and the senate returns tomorrow we'll look whether democratic leader harry reid will have a plan c ready to go and rumors after $400 billion price tag. >> big chunk of change. we're eyeing a massive winter storms that spawned at least last night this deadly tornado.
as it moves north, that storm we'll look at the danger it poses for many americans especially if you're trying to travel anywhere today. folks there living through rare holiday twisters react to a christmas day storm they say they will never forget. >> i've never seen one in real life. just to be able to hear one from that far away, it is about a mile from where we are and you could still hear it. it was, it was pretty amazing. [ mother ] you can't leave the table till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes!
kelly: "fox business alert." with just days until taxes go up on almost every american, there's a growing debate out there over whether top senate democrat leader harry reid will even have a plan-c to avoid the oncoming fiscal cliff and whether either side is ready to compromise, find some common ground, to keep our paychecks from shrinking as well. peter barnes is fox business network's senior washington correspondent. and he joins us now. peter, what does all this mean specifically for our taxes? >> well, kelly, it means that on january 1st the nation faces about a $5 trillion tax increase over ten years through the expiration of the bush tax cuts and assuming that congress does not approve its annual patch for the so-called alternative minimum tax and the medicare doc fix that prevents deep cuts in medicare payments. the lapse of the bush tax cuts means top rate would
revert to 39.6% from the 5% now but it would go up for lowest income earners. reverting from lowest rate to 15% from 10% now. for investors, capital gains rates would revert from 20% to 15% now. depending on the analysis the average family would pay 2,000 to $4,000 more in taxes next year. but, if you're a deficit hawk, you might be happy with this news. the congressional budget office estimates that with all of these new tax revenues, plus those mandatory spending cuts kicking in january 1st, that would all cut the deficit in half next year to about $600 billion. kelly? kelly: we would go through this for about half a year. then there's a talk among some people, that we would actually rebound at the end of six months or so. but that is a lot of pain to go through. is there any idea of what could happen to the economy or stock market as a result of congressional inactivity?
>> well, yeah. the cb. off and many private economists say that the $600 billion in fiscal tighting, as you say would push the economy into recession next year and send the unemmoment rate to back above 9%. a survey of investment managers found 60% of the them see a drop in the dow industrials of 10% or more if the cliff is not avoided. kelly? kelly: boy, that is very ominous. peter, thank you. hopefully something can be done. peter barnes. jamie: another extreme weather alert and the deadly christmas day storms that dumped snow on the nation's midsection and unleashed rare tornados in the south, it is now on the move and it is making its way to the northeast. that will mean more flight delays and expected treacherous driving conditions for post-holiday travelers. elizabeth prann is keeping a eye on all of it live from the atlanta bureau.
i saw you at the airport last couple days. everybody is out there trying to get where they want to go. how bad is it? >> reporter: this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. remember we just had deadly tornados spawn across the southeast and we had strong winds and rain all the way to texas and people are trying to get home after their holiday season and according to the national air traffic controllers association there is average of 25,000 commercial flights every day. that is just an average day but today that number is inflated not only because people are trying to get home for the holidays but a lot of people are heading to the malls to return their gifts and they're getting out and about. if you're traveling from cities such as atlanta, dallas, michigan, d.c., as far west as salt lake city you may spend time on the tarmac today. listen. >> i heard it is accumulating in raleigh this morning. so we're a little nervous but i think hopefully it will be okay. >> not really. but i did check to see how the weather was doing down south. >> reporter: now not everybody is taking planes today.
in fact according to aaa around 84 million people drive to their holiday destinations over the christmas holiday but not today. travel on the roadways are also affected not only by the post-storm conditions since trees and power lines and debris is in the roadways but stormy skies continue. officials in arkansas, mississippi as well as number of other states are asking people to stay home today due to poor visibility and very slick conditions. if you can, jamie, if they say you don't have to go to work, you an afford to stay home, please do so today. jamie: now you tell me. i'm here already. thanks, elizabeth. >> reporter: you and me both. jamie: take care. >> reporter: thanks. kelly: that powerful storm she has been discussing spawned nasty weather including tornados in the south and blizzard-like conditions across the midwest. what is behind all this wild weather we're experiencing? joe bastardi is chief meteorologist for weatherbell.com. joe, thanks for joining us today. joe, this is enormous storm system going through so many states with so many different types of weather,
tornados and blizzards. what is spawning this? >> well, what's happening is winter is pushing its, pushing its fist out into the united states and of course december and much of the country has been quite warm while the rest of the northern hemisphere has been shivering. now that the cold air is starting to have its way there was a massive clash over the deep south yesterday as we, are well aware of with the tornadic activity. but on the other side of that, when you're snowing christmas day all the way down to dallas and tyler, texas, you can imagine what kind of cold that takes to do that. so you have a big clash, a big storm. this was a well-advertised storm as far it was going to develop. a lot of u.s. generated computer models kept trying to push it too far north up into the great lakes. instead what we're seeing, think about it, a couple sunday nights ago we saw snow in green bay. we had a big storm just north of chicago. this one is a little further south. there will be one later this
week that will probably dump snow in d.c. and places like that where the snow has changed over to rain. we're seeing winter push its way southeast and unlike last year we are going to have winter this year in the united states. you see example of that now. i may add in the big cities, baltimore, philadelphia, new york, this should change over to rain but once you get a little bit north of and west of the city, the heavy snow that cops in will change it sleet and freezing rain and it will be a royal mess through southern new england, back into the suburbs of philadelphia tomorrow morning, baltimore. further northwest, this just is an out and out snowstorm for most places from the midwest through pennsylvania, interior parts of pennsylvania through interior southern new england, a skiers delight but a travelers nightmare. kelly: exactly. we're watching video of people actually traveling on the roads. as you talked about, this was a well-publicized storm system coming through yet we saw so many travelers out there. this is a storm that has been deadly. three deaths so far.
>> right. it was well-publicized. a lot of people thinking it was going to cut up into the great lakes. what happened is, the track, amazing watching what goes on in the weather community. you have u.s. generated models consistency, notice the forecast in new york how it flipped around in two days, consistently trying to push it up state new york. if you look at weather pattern across the globe you can see the cold that has been in northwest canada is now starting to push into the united states and the colder it gets the more it shoves storms southeastward. you watch what happens later in the week before the new year, about three or four days, there will be snow going south of the track of this particular storm, a little bit further south. so this is part of the pattern that we're getting into and while i don't think this winter will turn out to have a snow ma ged done like couple years ago or 2010 or 11, certainly not like last
winter. if you're expecting mild winter we're having more normal winter in the united states. kelly: thanks joe, giving us a fair warning of another storm that could be coming our way. thank you. >> thank you for having me. jamie: this is a story that broke overnight and a lot of people are talking about it and i bet you will too. there is a newspaper in new york and they're already facing a fierce backlash. what they did was they published the names of those who have permits for handguns in their area because they felt following a strong of shooting tragedies like the one at sandy hook elementary school and aurora, colorado, they thought people should know which hopes are armed. but did the newspaper go too far? our legal panel will weigh in. very interesting question. kelly: a very, very special christmas lesson this little boy will never forget. >> my dad and hang out with the guys because obviously this is what i want to do when i'm older. kelly: what he was doing on christmas morning while the
rest of his friend were at home opening presents. jamie: good kid. kelly: yeah iti price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you realldon't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it findone, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all youeed is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
kelly: well there are some stories that we're tracking for you right now. a new warning for survivors and families of victims in colorado's movie theater massacre. the d.a. asking them to consider whether they're prepared to hear details of the gruesome crime before they're laid out in a preliminary hearing for murder suspect james holmes
next month. amid rumors former senator chuck hagel is being considered for secretary of defense, we will look at why the debate over his potential nomination could be a, could be rivaled one of the other ambassadors, susan rice. as people struggle to deal with wicked weather, those with heart issues could be facing serious consequences of the we've got tips on how to protect yourself. jamie: i've been waiting all morning for this one because there is growing outrage after a newspaper in upstate new york publish also the names and addresses of every handgun permit holder, not necessarily owners of guns, in their area. it is "the journal news". they first published a map on its website on saturday and names were all obtained legally by the paper under the freedom of information act. the map doesn't indicate whether the residents actually owned handguns as i mentioned. only they're legally able to do so. and the information doesn't pertain to rifles or
shotguns which we've heard so much about in the tragic stories over the last couple weeks. those of course can be bought without a permit. we want to know if the newspaper went too far? i have to say joey jackson joining us former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, and trial attorney rebecca rose woodland. i didn't see in that video whether that was either of you two in the range but i digress. i got more responses when i posed this question out to the internet world than i have on a lot of issues. >> oh, yeah. jamie: joey, do the people who may claim there was a breach of their privacy even owe the paper obtained the information legally have a case? >> they have no case whatsoever, all right? now this is obviously a major public policy concern. in the wake of these shootings which has devstated the country, right? people are concerned, people have a right to know. what did the paper do? what they did as you mentioned, jamie, they acted through legal channels. they filed a foia request. what does that mean?
freedom of information law. this is information the general public could have obtained on their own. the paper obtained it. finally, listen to this, there is a provision within foia and it says if the government feels request is unduly intrusive or invase i have privacy it could be denied. it was not denied. they gave it to the paper. they published it. jamie: they did not publish all the information. the some information government did not feel was appropriate to release. let me pose this to you, rebecca, this is policy issue rather than legal question. one of the people wrote me back, a friend of mine in texas, a former black hawk pilot, female friend of mind, please publish my address, let robbers know i'm well-armed and locked and loaded. >> that is what she said because she can protect herself. what about all the citizens who have absolute legal right to bear arms who are now basically outed for criminals to come in to attempt to get their firearms? because on the black market,
firearms are extremely profitable. i just think it was, irresponsible of the newspaper. what is the good? when we're looking here, we'll looking to balance fair and equitable, what is the good? what is benefit for the newspaper to have written and outed these people? why? what is the purpose of this? i think it was just -- i don't think it was appropriate. jamie: when you look at it and see how many people got permits, i assume their point is there are too many permits out there. >> oh absolutely. that is their precise point but i don't know these people should be feeling we're unsafe, they will come get my guns. if you publish something in the paper and shows me where the guns are i'm going to avoid that address. so i don't know that is necessarily problem matic for them. >> that's what my friend was probably saying. everyone has the right to protect themselves. is this a wrongful usage of the constitutional right to bear arms, rebecca? >> that is how i feel. wrongful on constitutional right to bear arms. freedom of information goes
to the first amendment, you're right, if you register for an armed it can be released. we all know this. we're not saying it was illegal for the paper to obtain the information. what we're saying it is irresponsible movement toward, really focusing on people, what's the difference, they have the right here to have those guns. what is the problem? jamie: look how many, basically this is what their point is. what is interesting when you look at new york city on the left, maybe there is 10 people with permits. our police commissioner ray kelley takes that very seriously. not everybody gets one in new york city. >> they should. jamie: i think i want to ask you, joey, you do a lot of criminal defense work. >> i do. jamie: if a bad guy, and i'm sure all your people are innocent. >> they're good. jamie: if a bad guy or girl wants to get a gun, buy it illegal, these are not people we're talking about necessarily. although adam lanza's mother, the shooter in the newtown, connecticut, tragedy, had a number of firearms that she legally obtained.
>> absolutely. you know what? and that was the problem. we could get into mental health issues. it is a long story. ultimately jamie, there are constitutional liberties. i understand that i get that. if you're going to have a gun, permit for it you have to accept the responsibility to not keep it a secret. other people have the right to know in the community. any constitutional right there is balance and a limitation. i believe the public has a legitimate right to know. jamie: this doesn't chip, away, rebecca of right to bear arms to have privacy of it in your home? you can't necessarily carry the firearm. >> right. jamie: it is a permit to own. it isn't necessarily concealed permit weapon to carry. >> no. exactly. i think the paper went too far. i don't think, i don't understand the value, the true value of helping their constituency by just naming and pointing out people who have guns. it almost pointed to them to say, well, they said, after the newtown tragedy, you know, we wanted people to know what their neighbors were doing? why? >> i want to know.
>> why do you want to know? >> i want to know. i think my community wants to know. as a parent i want to know where child is, where my children are, where they're going. jamie: i will give you that. >> that is fair. >> as responsible person we would want to know and right to know who is bearing arms and carrying them so i can make responsible decisions. jamie: don't you think lawyers are lining up right now in this area of new york to actually bring lawsuits or at least challenge it to see what the courts would decide, rebecca? i would take that case. >> sure, i would too. at some point maybe it was more responsible to discuss what safe gun action is in your home, to have safe, safes only you can access. to understand how to protect your weaponry. is that more appropriate of an article than, hey, those are the people with some gun permits. jamie: keeping it locked and key up high. >> this debate will rage on for a long time. we only scratched the surface, rebecca. jamie: honestly i've got to go but it is today's
watercooler topic for sure, on whether or not you have a right to know who legally has a gun when the real issue probably is who has them illegally. those are the people we need to keep an eye on. thank you both of you, joey jackson, rebecca rose woodland. >> happy holidays. jamie: you too. by the way you look very dapper today. >> you too. you guys look beautiful. jamie: speaking of dapper, kelly. kelly: thank you, joey, jamie, rebecca. that was a great discussion. disturbing report however on holiday retail sales could mean some good news for shoppers out there today. and while the lines may be shorter than in years past, if you're talking anything, taking anything back, why you should be prepared to be patient.
kelly: it's been a very special holiday for a lot of the people throughout the country and this holiday also took on very special meaning for one young man thanks to new york's bravest. while many kids were wishing for a fire truck under the tree, he actually got to get into the driver's seat to spend a special christmas day with his firefighter father. dan bowens of fox affiliate wnyw in new york has this report. >> these two buttons
straightforward. >> reporter: for a boy who wants to be a firefighter when he grows up, christmas gifts don't get much better than this. >> it is cool to hang out with my dad and hang out with the guys because this is obviously what i want to do when i'm older. >> reporter: he spent this holiday at ladder company 15 with his dad, nathan. nathan is one of crew at the firehouse in lower manhattan. like emergency personnel everywhere working on the holiday is just part of the job. this year this father and son are glad to spend it together. >> i'm a single father. he just moved in with me about a year ago and it's, it is hard at times. it is challenging but, you know, the job itself very understanding. i mean it's a brotherhood. >> reporter: the christmas tree here is in the same room as memorial to firefighters who lost their lives on september 11th, a remind lieutenant gregory lynch says how quickly life can change at any time any day. >> we're here for the city 24 hours. we never close. >> reporter: while they are working they're trying to
make the best of it with decorations on the windows and the trucks. the pride of south street thinks of itself as a family. it is one ethan and nathan are glad to be part of. >> it goes way back when fire departments first came around. that is why you have cousins and fathers and uncles, that are, you know, everybody is on the job. everyone has been a smokey from way back. kelly: what a great story. that is dan bowen of fox affiliate of wnyw in new york. thanks, dan, for that great story. thanks eat than and nathan. especially nathan doing right thing as single dad, taking his son to work. what a great christmas present. jamie: the kid is very classy kid. i love the fact there is take your daughter to work today, not today obviously. i think it should be take your son. i like what he did. beautiful story. thank you so much. well one lawmaker is making history over the holiday as texas gop congressman ralph hall becomes the oldest house member ever in u.s. history. hope he doesn't mind me saying so.
he is only 89 years young. he says clean living and a little help from the guy upstairs kept him going this long. he is a world war ii veteran who was first elected back in 1980. he surpassed the record of north carolina congressman charles stedman who died in office in 190. that is a long time ago. there are monster waves coming out of nowhere. what happened when they hit hawaii? i hope ed henry is okay. surfers tell their dramatic story. kelly: plus a high-tech mystery going on in iran. did it come under major cyberattack or not? we'll go in depth next there is no mass-produced human. so we created the extraordinarily comfortable sleep number experience. a collection of innovations designed around a bed with dualair technology that allows you to adjust to the support your body needs - each of your bodies. our sleep professionals will help you find your sleep number setting. exclusively at a sleep number store.
kelly: a desperate search for a 10-year-old girl in las vegas. last seen with a suspect wanted in a casino stabbing. the effort to find her safe and alive. and new criticism over president obama's reported pick for secretary of defense. the backlash coming from the right and the left over the potential nomination of chuck hagel and whether it could make him bail out. and serious health warnings as temperatures dip dramatically outside. how the cold weather could impact your heart, what you need to know coming up. jamie: well, we're still trying that last ditch effort to keep the economy from going over the fiscal cliff. lawmakers are heading back to
washington including the president with this year-end deadline that's been on the horizon. welcome, everybody, great to have you here. brand new hour of "happening now." kelly: i'm kelly wright in for jon scott -- jamie: and i'm jamie colby in for jenna today. kelly: talks hitting a dead end last week, now most americans are facing big tax hikes unless the two sides can work out a last minute deal. chief white house correspondent ed henry with more. >> reporter: you're right, really all eyes turning to plan c. plan a was that $4 trillion debt deal, plan b was speaker boehner's idea about tax increases only for million dollar incomes and more, now turning to plan c which is president obama's idea which is to move it back to $250,000 or more, that would be the threshold for tax cuts or tax increases in the other direction, also dealing with two million people who are losing their unemployment benefits,
president wants to the take care of that by the end of the year and finally, spending cuts kicked till later next year. that's one of the key things that's going to have to be ironed out if taxes are going up for some, republicans are saying you're going to be getting more revenue in the government, make sure that's not spent on new federal programs. you look at the front page of the star advertiser, it says obama headed back to work. he'll be flying back late tonight, get back to work. the picture here that showed the president and first lady, they were with troops at a marine base here, that's become a christmas tradition before the president heads out, basically, as they were getting ready for dinner, the president and first lady made, you know, a quick appearance there, and the president had this to say about their sacrifice. >> so many of you make sacrifices day in, day out on behalf of our freedom, on behalf of our security and not only do those in uniform make sacrifices, but i think
everybody here understands the sacrifices that families make each and every day as well. >> reporter: sacrifice for the president is giving up some of this president vacation, obviously, giving the long flight back to d.c., given the five-hour time difference, he's not going to be arriving back at washington until thursday mid-morning. we're expecting he'll bring congressional leaders over either later thursday or friday, do something to try and jump-start these talks which are stalled right now. kelly: hopefully not at a standstill. we'll see what happens when he gets back and meets with members of congress. he remains optimistic, but we'll find out what congress does. of ed henry, thank you so much. >> reporter: good to see you. kelly: fox newswet alert, holiday travelers bracing for a mess on the roads and at the airports as severe, a severe winter storm heads toward the east coast. this is video of what it's like right now in indianapolis. all of this part of a deadly storm system that has ripped
through the south yesterday. meteorologist maria molina is live in the fox extreme weather center with more details about this nasty storm. >> reporter: that's right, this storm is nasty, and it has all kinds of components, it has widespread, strong winds stretching into portions of the southeast right now and also tornadoes with it and even winter weather with blizzard conditions ongoing across portions of indiana and also into ohio. but the big story is really how travel will be impacted. we know this is one of the busiest times for travel throughout the year, many people heading home for the holidays or heading back to work after the holidays, and we can see that this storm is already causing delays across places in the northeast. some airports reporting delays of over an hour, jfk or laguardia also as well, and we're starting to see that precipitation expanding into the northeast. so lately it's been impacting the northwest, yesterday across the south, and as we head into tonight, the worst of the storm will be felt across the northeast. coastal areas mainly dealing
with areas of rainfall, but easily over 60 mile-per-hour gusts, and interior sections we're talking easily over a foot of snow throughout new england. so that's another concern aside from the travel delays that we're expecting to see throughout the day today and getting worse as we head into this evening and tonight. we do have a severe weather aspect. we saw over 30 reported tornadoes yesterday across parts of the south. today it's further off towards the east, across eastern portions of the carolinas, and there is currently a tornado watch -- we've had warnings go up across coastal areas because conditions are still favorable to see more tornadoes touching down, and this particular tornado watch basically meaning that tornadoes are possible here throughout the day, it's in effect until 5 p.m. eastern time. so, please, stay safe and stay alert. if you get tornado warnings issued for your county, seek shelter immediately. many people out here, though, do not have a basement, so basically stay away from windows and go into the lowest level of
your home away from windows, again, into the most interior section you can find. damaging wind gusts, of course, another big concern. kelly, blizzard warnings in effect across the state of indiana, ohio because of the wind and widespread winter storm warnings in effect across interior sections of the northeast. kelly: hopefully, people are taking heed. i notice you charleston and wilmington, those are places where basements are not likely, to your advice is very sound. maria, thank you. jamie: a fox business alert for you, the government's housing bailout may get even bigger. new reports out of the white house that they're quietly backing a new plan to help homeowners that are underwater on their mortgages. fox business network's elizabeth macdonald tracking this story live in new york city. liz, i didn't get to see you, merry christmas. happy holidays. >> reporter: merry christmas to you, jamie, good to be with you. here's the plan, this is now in discussion stages. the white house is considering
getting more underwater borrowers to have their mortgages refinanced with the help of fannie mae and freddie mac. taxpayers now own both fannie mae and freddie mac. so the idea is if you were current at least five years on your loan, if you got a irate on your loan -- high rate on your loan, you may be able to get help from fannie and freddie. already a fifth of u.s. mortgages are underwater, that's equal to about 11 million homes meaning they owe more on their loans than what their house is worth. so right now we're seeing about 330,000 borrowers have refinanced underwater mortgages by the fall of 2012, and that's up from 60,000 in 2011. so the issue here is will the u.s. congress approve a change in the charter of, for fannie mae and freddie mac allowing them to refinance or, rather, guarantee refinanced mortgages who are underwater borrowers? that's not the case right now.
and, jamie, this comes on the heels of the failed plan to get fannie mae and freddie mac to do, to allow more principal reductions of mortgages. this may be the backup plan that's under discussion because the idea is if you get more homeowners current on their mortgages, maybe that will get them to spend more money and help the u.s. economy. but in exchange here's the deal, here's the kicker, you know, fannie mae and freddie mac would get to charge higher rates on those refinanced mortgages for underwater borrowers and, get this, u.s. banks would be given immunity from having to get those loans, those bad loans put back on their balance sheets. instead, fannie and freddie would have the take those bad underwater mortgages on their own balance sheets, so that's something that the u.s. congress would have to consider, jamie, in even allowing fannie and freddie to, basically, guarantee refinanced mortgages for underwater borrowers. i'm going to send it back to you, jamie, that's going to be a real controversial one. jamie: that's a little complicated s is that a net
negative for the government and the economy the way you describe it? >> reporter: a net negative for u.s. taxpayers because, basically, more money spent at fannie mae and freddie mac to guarantee those underwater loans. if you're a homeowner and you have a, say, subprime mortgage and you can't pay the mortgage payments, you're current on your loan, you may be able to get help now under a new plan that's under consideration via fannie mae and freddie mac, getting you help to refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rate. and in exchange they would guarantee that mortgage. so whether the banks -- jamie: a lot of folks will take that. >> that's right, jamie. whether the banks go along with it, that's another story. jamie: well, you let us know. thanks so much, liz macdonald, take care. kelly: another possible cyber attack using a stuxnet virus, iran now denies it recently fought off a cyber attack on key industrial sites including a power plant.
iranian officials now claim the original report was due to a misunderstanding. but the country remains on high alert, preparing for cyber sabotage. mark dubielewicz, executive director of the defense of democrats, is joining us to share some perspective on all of this. mark, this happened, and iranian defense spokesman denies any new cyber attack at all. he told news agencies, for example, the attack was foiled. he went on to describe that this was the latest computer worm as being similar to stuxnet which, of course, struck iran in 2010 and dealt a serious blow to its nuclear program. but what do you say what actually happened there? what are you hearing? >> well, what i'm hearing is there, indeed, was a cyber attack. the iranians can't really decide whether they're an aggrieved victim or whether they're so powerful they're impervious to western attack. but it's a strategic area, not
only does it have the main naval base that's controlled by iran's revolutionary guards, but it also has key refineries, and what's most interesting, kelly, is that it actually has the uranium production plant which is iran's key production planted for the mining and production of uranium which is a key ingredient. so a very strategic area. no doubt of real concern to western powers. kelly: and, of course, that is a very important concern to not only america, but also, as you said, western powers, and there are some who claim this particular cyber attack was done in retaliation for iran actually trying to cripple computers in the saudi arabia oil industry and even some financial institutions here in the united states. you'll recall a few months ago that attack erased saudi files and prevented americans temporarily from gaining access to their accounts and, in fact, defense secretary leon panetta, if i recall, in october called attention to this and america's vulnerability to computer
warfare that could be cyber pearl harbor. so what is the u.s. doing now to protect its assets from cyber attacks coming from iran? >> well, no doubt the iranians are aggressively going after our other own facilities, and you mentioned two classive examples of this. but i think we should go back to the main purpose of these attacks against iranian facilities. this is not meant to go after the iranian people or iran's general economy. this is meant to go after iran's nuclear weapons program, and this is an attempt to find a nonmilitary solution to iran's nuclear weapons development. and i think you're seeing a campaign by western powers, by the united states, by israel and by others to try and get at the key nodes of iran's nuclear facilities and also to go after iran's proliferation-sensitive energy sector which even the united nations acknowledges is providing revenues for iran's nuclear weapons program. kelly: you know, to that end, congress has just approved an amendment to the national defense authorization act which, of course, would then toughen
sanctions on iran in some key areas. what impact will that have on iran's nuclear program? >> well, you know, so far sanctions have had no impact. they haven't broken the nuclear will of khamenei, but there's no doubt the iranian regime is hurting. these sanctions are meant to massively intensify the economic pressure in the hope that peaceful economic pressure will change the regime's risk/reward calculus. again, no evidence that it has. we'll see with the next round of negotiations that are supposed to resume in the january. kelly: again, the military option does remain on the table, albeit it's not being discussed right now. >> well, it has to be on the table because the only way you break the nuclear will is if ha manny believes the united states will use military force. if he doesn't believe that, all the sanctions in the world are not going to change his decision and his desire to have nuclear
weapons. kelly: mark dubielewicz, thank you very much for shedding so much perspective and insight on this. >> thanks, kelly. jamie: at this hour a desperate search for a missing 10-year-old girl last seen with a woman already arrested for stabbing a blackjack dealer at the bellagio hotel. we want to give you some more information on that. plus, there's a fair and is balanced report coming up on the minimum wage. what happens when pay goes up, how will it affect the economy? if you're a minimum wage worker or an employer, you've got to hear this. ♪ constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation.
jamie: right now some crime stories we're following here at fox. a colorado district attorney is warning survivors and the families of the victims in the aurora movie theater massacre about graphic details that could come up at a hearing for the suspect, james holmes, seen here. the january 7th hearing will determine whether there's enough evidence for holmes to stand trial for murder.
the search on right now for this 10-year-old girl in las vegas. police say jade morris was last seen with a woman who was arrested for allegedly slashing a colleague in the face with a knife at the bellagio hotel and casino. and new hampshire authorities are saying a woman charged in connection with the death of a university student lied to them about her whereabouts. 19-year-old katherine mcdonough is the girlfriend of seth who's charged with second-degree murder in the death of elizabeth marriott. she was just 19 years old. kelly: new information on the minimum wage. some workers could see a few extra dollars in their paychecks starting next week, and that's when several cities and states will actually raise the minimum wage hoping it leads to more spending. but some folks worry it could hurt the economy. peter doocy is live in washington with details about this particular story. peter? >> reporter: almost a million people will be affected, kelly,
when ten states raise their minimum wages six days from today, which means all those folks are going to be making somewhere between 10 credibilities and 35 more per hour. but the ones writing their paychecks, their bosses, might take a hit, and here's why. >> let's just say we have two states that share a border, and one state raises the cost of labor by raising the minimum wage. what will happen is that businesses in the state that does not raise will now have an advantage because they have a lower cost of production. >> reporter: a research fellow from the employment policies institute, michael feltsman, told me today raising the minimum wage does not reduce poverty and businesses looking to avoid the higher cost of untrained work withers may just start higher fewer people or start using more things like
self checkout counters and even a robotic burger flipper. of but senator tom harkin, the democrat from iowa, disagrees. he has introduced legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 over the next two years, and he says, quote: it is long past time to establish a fair minimum wage in our country. it is good for families, good for business and good for our economy, and more importantly, it is the right thing to do. people who work hard for a living should not have to live in poverty. an aide to democratic congressman george miller who also supports legislation to raise the minimum wage in the house told "the wall street journal" that when people have more money, they spend more money. but both of the economists we spoke to this morning said they think that a higher minimum wage will also mean a higher unemployment rate for the reasons you just heard. kelly? kelly: very good. but did i hear you say a robotic burger flipper? >> reporter: or i did. there's a company out in california who's got a thing
that supposedly can cut burgers and will, in theory, replace three fast food workers. kelly: oh, that's not good at all. thank you, peter doocy. jenna: listen, as a former burger king girl, that's just wrong. you've got to make sure the pickles are in the right place, okay? there's a major battle breaking out over the possible nomination of former senator chuck hagel as our next secretary of defense. plus, dangerous and unpredictable huge waves. surfers might love it, but it's keeping lifeguards very busy. we're going to tell you where. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy,
jamie: welcome back, everybody. right now president obama's search for a new secretary of defense is sparking a fierce political battle. former senator chuck hagel, a republican from nebraska, seemed to have an early head start, but his position on key issues including israel and others may knock him out of the running before he's even nominated, at least that's what's being reported. doug schoen is a fox news contributor, and matt schlapp was white house political director under president george w. bush. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning. jamie: i guess i could say good afternoon, we're in the 12:00 hour. >> are yes, exactly. jamie: so, doug, what's going on
here? he's a republican, yet republicans are not completely in favor, it sounds like, of chuck hagel. when the white house put him out there, was he really the first choice for the or job, or do you think they put it up to stir the controversy, and then maybe they have someone else in mind? we need a secretary of defense, clearly, in place. >> we sure do. it was a trial balloon. i think they wanted to see how people would react to his controversial comments about the israel lobby, his votes against sanctions on iran, some of his more controversial comments back in the '90s admittedly on gays. all of these have engendered a great deal of opposition as well as, and concern as well as his voting against the iraq war. so republicans, i think, are expressing quite legitimate concern, and what presidents typically do is float names, jamie, see how they do as with susan rice, and he's not doing so well today. jamie: matt, would leon panetta stay? >> you know, those are all
questions that are probably pretty private between the president and the success tear of defense. the secretary of defense. i also think president obama wants to shake up his second term as most presidents want to, and the other thing that second-term presidents tend to want to do in both parties is put together a cabinet that is closer to the white house, a cabinet they can control more. what's ironic about chuck hagel is no one's ever been able to control him which is one of his problems in the senate. he has no base of support. the republicans have plenty to gripe about when it comes to his votes and his support, and democrats do as well, and you're seeing people like chuck schumer and others who are very concerned about our policies towards israel expressing real concern. so in some senses if the senate doesn't give obama his choice of chuck hagel, he might be getting kind of a victory he didn't anticipate. jamie: but, you know, doug, it matters at least to me more with the secretary of defense than many of the other cabinet positions because we're withdrawing from afghanistan, our troops need true leadership,
and whoever takes that position at in this critical juncture where leon panetta has already been overseeing for a while, it seems an odd time to make a change. what's going on? >> well, the end of the first term. of leon panetta, i believe, is in his mid 70s, he's expressed a desire to go back to california, and if chuck hagel isn't it, i think matt is exactly right. in michelle flournoy or ashton carter, there are two very, very qualified people who are waiting in the wings who would be very close to the president, and i think it's entirely appropriate that as a second term begins that the president would look for new leadership especially after secretary panetta's long and distinguished service. jamie: you know, matt, on the one hand i can understand any corporate ceo when they come in, they want to bring in people that are sitting at the major table that they know will be on the same page. on the other hand, it's important in the second
administration to reach across the aisle and look for people to fill positions from the republican party. but is this symptomatic, the way the hagel nomination came out and the situation with susan rice of a problem we may have of positions not being filled during critical times? for example, i think about the atf position which has been open for some six months, and i believe it's andrew draver who is the person who president obama selected, and they haven't even set up a hearing for him yet. >> will you make great points, and here's what president obama has to realize. he had 60 votes in the senate when he came to office. he now has 55, and that's all the difference in the world because it just takes 41 senators to have a filibuster on a nominee or to really hold back on a nominee. so i think what the president has to realize -- especially on cabinet secretaries who are going to have to work with the senate on their budgets and all kinds of key policy issues going forward -- eking by a victory
isn't enough. jamie: right. >> you do have to find people who can get support from the other side, especially when it comes to issues surrounding national security and these important questions about the budget around the secretary of defense. so i really think in this case president obama would be much better served to not try to jam through a friend, but try to find somebody who could pull people together so we can find some bipartisan policies when it comes to our national security. jamie: yeah. fill the seats. i know this segment is about chuck hagel, but i want to just ask you, doug, about the atf. with all the shootings and all the questions about these assault rifles in the hands of people that shouldn't have them, how critical is it to have somebody that's running that area, that department, the atf? >> jamie, it couldn't be more critical, bottom line. we have huge policy issues there that we've talked about, we have the fast and furious scandal which is still playing itself out, and we have whole questions now about whether there will be new regulations on guns and
automatic weapons. bottom line, it's a symptom of the dysfunctionalty in washington that we haven't been able to get anybody to head the atf. jamie: all right. gentlemen, thank you very much. matt schlapp, doug schoen, always good to have you here. >> thank you. >> thank you. jamie: kelly? kelly: chances are if you look out your window right now, you're going to see rough weather. we are tracking a dangerous storm moving across the nation. it's already responsible for several deaths and hundreds of canceled flights. turning the postchristmas rush into a travel nightmare. we'll have a live report on this next. plus, retailers are hoping to make up for lost ground today after slumping holiday sales. but why are consumers holding back? that's one of the big questions. and what does it mean for the overall economy? we'll have important answers to that next. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance
jamie: a fox extreme weather alert. as we've been telling you we're tracking a massive winter storm. practically our whole country is covered with wicked weather. blizzard-like conditions across the nation's midsection, triggering deadly tornados all the way into the deep south. we have live report from indianapolis. sorry to put you out there, jill, but what is going on? >> reporter: jamie, i'm trying to keep my hood on because the wind is what we've had such a problem with today. we're standing along one of the main highways on the south side of indianapolis
and the highway itself is moving. we've seen a lot of problems. we're along one of the stretches that has been moving along pretty well but it is moving along very slowly. we heard a lot from emergency personnel saying they really don't want people out on the roads because of the wind and how much snow we've been getting has been making it really difficult for people. we've been out here all morning. there is a reporter out here before me and she was standing on dry pavement right where we are. i want to give you an idea just in the last few hours, inches, every hour, adding on, adding on. we've gotten really no stop in the snow we're getting and the wind is really what is bad. there has been a lot of problems out here. they're telling people at work, some went to work. they're trying to get people to go home because the next several hours will make it harder for people to get back home if they're out on the roads. jamie: jill, you guys are used to this though, aren't
you, indianapolis? you would have snow this time of year but is it more than you're used to and are the airports having a hard time? >> reporter: yeah. the airport has had a hard time. we heard most of the flights there are canceled. we should be used to it but it has been a couple years in indnaply -- indflap last year was quite mild. it is day after christmas. so a lot of people are trying to go home. it hit just as the roads were going to be really busy with people getting out. it is timing, we haven't had this in a while. we're getting so much so fast. jamie: i don't see a lot of plowing going on either. be careful out there yourself. thanks so much, jill. >> reporter: thanks. jamie: kelly? kelly: hopefully jill is staying warm. we appreciate when our viewers send us pictures what is going on in their hometowns and we're getting quite a few from families who got a white christmas. kyle in arkansas sent this image. there is snow falling on the
white county courthouse, making a beautiful holiday scene there. that is very beautiful. this is 9-year-old blaze, taking advantage of a rare snowstorm in the dallas-ft. worth area. they don't get these kind of things. he is building a snowman, cowboy. good for him. send us your photos of the storm. make sure, everybody to stay safe out there. you can up load them at foxnews.com/ureport. jamie: well, i think a lot of people out on the roads today are making those returns of the gifts they don't want and retailers are hoping that it won't happen. they want to turn the tables. they have had a lackluster holiday shopping season. according to a new report retail sales in the last two months of this year before christmas increased by less than 1% over the previous year. and that is the weakest result since 2008. remember what happened in 2008? recession. what does this mean for the overall economy? joining me now, senior economics writer or for "the wall street journal" steve
moore. steve, thanks for making it in today. >> hi, jamie. we're having a white christmas in chicago. so it is a lot of fun. jamie: i know chicago, burr. the numbers are also pretty chilling for retailers who do what percentage of their business during the holiday season? >> you know, those months of november and december are absolutely crucial, jamie, for the retailers. about 40 to all their business all year is done in those two holiday months. so it's, not very good news that the retail numbers came in, you called them lackluster. and that's probably putting it charitiably. this was the worst year since 2008. it is actually, surprising, jamie, because if you look at some other indicators, consumer confidence had actually bumped up a little bit in the last couple months. we have, i wouldn't read too much into this because other indicators of the economy are looking up right now. jamie: so do you think it's an anomaly that it isn't going up? is it an indication if we go
over the fiscal cliff there's concern from people that we will go into another recession and they're hanging on to their money? >> i think, yeah, i think you're exactly right. i think there are a couple factors. one is the fiscal cliff had people hang onto the their wallets and their money as you just said. don't forget we had the terrible shooting in connecticut the weekend before the biggest shopping weekend of the year. there is no question that hurt retailers a lot. the question is whether this is just a little blip. but i mentioned some of these other areas of the economy looking up. gas prices are low now, jamie. the energy sector is doing very well, housing is picking up. we're getting kind of mixed signals on the economy. there is no question the economy wants a solution to the fiscal cliff issue. they want to get it behind us. as you know we have only got a week to go. jamie: it will be interesting to see percentage of returns for retailers. they could get hit mr. the hard. people say i take the cash instead. >> right. jamie: how important is
consumer spending to the overall healthiness of the economy? >> sure, it's a big factor. i mean, look, there's two major sectors of the economy. with your money you can either consume it or that is important and or you can invest it, that is important to. when consumers hold back no question retail sector of the economy gets hit hard with a slowdown in business activity. by symptom estimates two third of our economy is retail sector where people spend money as consumers. jamie: so the numbers count. quick, steve, out of curiosity since you follow this stuff and you know money, did you buy less this year than you used to? >> you know, gee, i have to see my credit card bill before i answer that we did pretty well and i took in a pretty good stash this year. i got golf clubs. i felt i did pretty well. i don't know about you? jamie: no, i'm being very conservative to be honest with you, because if we go over the cliff it will sting everybody.
we have to be careful. >> it is. jamie, it is true, $2,000 a year it could take out of middle class families if we go over the cliff. so you're right. jamie: sounds like everybody is going to feel it. thanks, steve, we'll bring you back in a week to see what actually happens. >> thank you, jamie. take care. jamie: happy holidays. kelly? kelly: to add exactly to what steve and jamie have been discussing, $2,000, $4,000 added to your taxes high anxiety across the country right now over the big tax hikes and spending cuts which are many looking, set to kick in january 1st. a growing number of lawmakers as a result are kept al a deal can be reached in just five days especially with the main sticking point coming down to whether to increase the tax rates for top earners next year. our correspondent molly henneberg is live in washington where she is following all of this and molly, it is really a mess. you don't know how they will clean it up. >> reporter: it will be interesting to watch this week, kelly. as the battle goes on in washington americans are
wondering what kind of tax hike they will be facing if we go over the cliff. one economist says the impact on families will not be insignificant. >> if we go off the cliff unimpeded, in other words, they don't make any kind of deals whatsoever, it's a $400 billion tax hike. it is one of the, the biggest tax hikes we have ever had in the history of the country. >> reporter: let's look at the numbers from the tax policy center. this is the average tax hit families will take on top of what they already pay in taxes. so those who make below 10,000 will pay an average of about $300. going to the bottom level there, those who make between 40 and 50,000, they will have to pay an extra $1700 on average. looking at next set of numbers for wage earners. 50 to 75,000, they will have to find an extra $2300 to send to washington. if you managed to make over $200,000 on the income mark it will be a big jump up,
send a check to uncle sam for on average, about 14 thou additional dollars. and the highest wage earners, here are those numbers. if you make between $500,000 to a million, you will pay on average $34,000 more. and if you make over a million, the irs will want $216,000 additional dollars from you on top of what you already pay in taxes. one financial advisor tells fox that the uncertainty of it all is making families less willing to spend money before or after christmas and it is making businesses less willing to hire new employees. kelly? kelly: that is the uncertainty we've been talking molly. my friend, merry christmas to you. i didn't get to see you yesterday. >> thank you to you, kelly and to jamie too. jamie: we both love molly so much. there are new warnings in effect for surfers in a popular tourist area. i don't know if they're heeding the call though. forecasters are raising all the red flags about the
big, 25 feet high. the regular flat -- flags are out, urging surfers to stay out of the water. some deciding to brave the elements as they always do. emergency crews made a dozen crest cues. there are warnings of another storm in the mix that could make conditions and waves higher by thursday. kelly: well the doctor is in and we've got a new warning about your heart as testimonitures drop outside. the colder it gets, well the higher your chances of a heart attack. joining us is dr. kevin campbell, a cardiologist. kevin, dr. campbell, we thank you for joining us today. it is good to see you. this is a very important topic because there is a lot of snow out there. so there is lot of shoveling going on. people go out there without warming up. take us through the pacing what a person should do before they go out to try to shovel snow from infront their homes.
>> so the cold weather puts a lot of undue stress on the cardiovascular system. we know that when temperatures drop and we exert ourselves quickly outside, that our blood pressure raises quickly and that we also put undue stress on the heart muscle itself. really in people who are predisposed to having heart attacks this could really set them off and cause a cardiovascular event to occur. kelly: you know, sometimes even trudging through the snow, if you're out there playing with loved ones, it is a wonderful day. we can't go anywhere. let's go outside to make a snowman and play a snowball fight. even that could lead to a crisis of the heart because of cold temperatures but movement, the exertion. >> that is exactly right. one of the things we really recommend you spend time stretching around warming up before you go outside. make sure when you exert yourself in the cold weather you do it with frequent breaks. always have someone aware you're working outside and
someone with you, so if something does happen you have someone to help you. kelly: that is a very good point. we'll go through some of those issues right now, those cold weather health tips because i know in my old neighborhood where i used to live in hagerstown, maryland, this time of year when it would snow all the neighbors would come out and we would help each other shovel the snow or use snowblowers. there is always that added help. as we go through this is very important to do, right, these tips here, taking frequent breaks? >> it certainly is because you just don't want to put undo stress on the heart particularly if you have high blood pressure or known corn nary artery disease. you could really precipitate an event. these events can be devastating particularly if there is no one around to help you. kelly: earlier we said don't shovel, but push it as you shovel it, push it along as opposed to lift it that causes more exertion. another thing is chl, you shouldn't drink alcohol if
you're going out to the elements. >> that is exactly right. alcohol can give you a false sense ever warmth. it can cause dilation of some of the blood vessels and put you undo risk for hypothermia. you may not notice some of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack if you're under the influence of alcohol. kelly: another thing, if you're going to be out there, doc, how should we dress? should we lair our clothing to make sure we have enough warmth? >> i think that is very important to create a base layer of warmth, maybe long johns, something of that sort and layer on outerwear so you are warm. as you exert yourself you may need to remove a layer, put it back on. you need to pay attention to your body and symptoms you may experience. kelly: we're running out of time. recently when hurricane sandy hit it caused a blizzard in elkins, west virginia, all the crew that joined me, our camera crew ourself, we layered our
clothing but we endured three feet of snow in a snow blizzard condition. so the right thing to do was make sure we got in and out to stay warm. what is your advice on people caught in this blizzard going across the country, the significance of this snowfall that's happening? >> well, i think certainly if you don't have to be out in it, stay at home and stay off the roadways. kelly: good advice. >> i think if you do have to be out in it, be out with a partner, with someone who can watch over you and you watch over them and make sure you do take care to notice signs and symptoms. kelly: a fair warning to those of you who are out there in these kinds of elements, be careful when you're near trees, they will snap, they can fall and can cause serious injury and if not even cause death. doc, thanks. >> thank you so much for having me today. kelly: all right, thank you. jamie: stoves are not heaters. kelly: exactly. very good point. jamie: i was thinking about that. that was great, very helpful. a massive explosion rock as major city. what police say triggered
kelly: right now new information on some stories we're watching from around the world. a massive explosion rips through a warehouse full of fireworks in nigeria. the blast sparking a fire that threatens an entire neighborhood. a ceremony in thailand marking eight years since the devastating tsunami killed tens of thousand of people along the indian ocean. mourners and survivors commemorating the disaster with music, speeches and prayers. far eastern russia, foresters rescuing two bear cubs. look at them, adorable. their mother was apparently killed by hunters however meaning the cubs would have been doomed because they are too young to take care of themselves. they hope to place the cubs in a wildlife rehab center when they get older. jamie: from ghost town to boomtown, nipton, california, was a blip on the map 25 years ago but now they're going high-tech in a major way. sound like it is all due to
one person. anita vogel explains live from our west coast newsroom. and anita, how did they get where they are today? >> reporter: you know it is funny, jamie because this town was never really known for very much except as a stop for gold miners and ranchers. but the owner, gerald freeman, is hoping to change all that. freeman stumbled across this town so many years ago in 1984 when it was basically a ghost town. he stumbled on it while prospecting for gold. he decided to buy it for $200,000 with the goal of restoring it and making it completely now there are a total of 60 residents. it is gyping to see more and more tourists. >> we're getting calls from europe for people who want to live in the tents in the middle of august. which is, well they're air-conditioned, and the air-conditioning will drop the temperature by 20 degrees. >> i think they get an experience of feeling back
in time and they relax and they can see the beautiful sunsets and th stars and think, they are some things you don't see in the city. >> reporter: nipton is now 85% solar powered. freeman is offering free wi-fi to all the residents. there's a restaurant and a store and you they, he is really hoping to put this little city on the map. jamie? jamie: anita, where exactly on the map is nipton? i lived in california for a while. never heard of it. >> reporter: yeah. i lived in california a long time and neither had i. it is pretty hard to find. it is along the californi california-nevada border near las vegas. it is one of only two towns in america owned by a private citizen. original owner claimed it under the homestead act under fdr. this owner, gerald freeman, has big plans for the small town. he hopes to put in organic
farm, electric vehicle charging stations. of course he wants to put in more solar panels. right now it is 85% solar powered. he is looking to get 100% at some point in the future. jamie: admirable. anita, good to see you thanks. interesting. kelly: loss and found story we want to tell you about. a man loses his wedding ring, get this, in a snowy highway. now the person who found the ring, well he is determined to find the owner. jamie: uh-oh. kelly: somebody is serving for that ring
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jamie: it's a remarkable story, it needs a happy ending. a good samaritan helps find a lost wedding ring and he wants to return the ring to its rightful owner. douglas benedetti was working on a highway in california and he saw a man frantically jogging up and down the shoulder of the road, the man saying he lost his wedding ring while putting snow chains on his car. the couple drove off without it and the man set out on a search for the stranger's ring. >> when i saw it it was perfectly round, it was sunk in the snow. once i saw lisa as name on it i new i had a wedding band and i knew i had the right ring. they don't need to have it lost on the side of the highway. i'd like to get this back to him, and he can in return pay it forward to someone else later in life.